Updated: Nov 2
By Camryn McLen
New York designer Alexander Wang showcased his first runway show since he was accused of sexual assault last year.
Wang’s show, “Fortune City,” took place in Los Angeles in Chinatown on April 19. The venue was lit up with neon lights and two stone Chinese guardian lions adorned the front of the runway stage.
The fashion show was split into three different sections with the first two showcasing more streetwear-based apparel for his fall/winter 2022 collection.
The day after the show, Wang took to Instagram to post a picture with a thank you note for those who were in attendance at the event.
“Thank you to everyone who came out in support of fortune city; a multi-layered event dedicated to supporting los angeles chinatown corporation’s mission to preserve this historic and beautiful district,” the post read.
Wang also mentioned in his post that he made a limited edition T-shirt for his new collection and that all of the proceeds from the T-shirt purchases would be donated to the community.
Beneath the post were comments about how incredible and inspirational some people thought the show was, but there were also plenty of negative comments.
Critical comments mentioned the sexual assault allegations, calling Wang a “rapist” and saying that people should not just forget about those he allegedly abused.
Other comments expressed disappointment in well-known supermodels Candice Swanepoel, Alessandra Ambrosio and Adriana Lima for walking in the show despite the controversy.
A popular Instagram account, @DietPrada, even posted memes regarding people “turning a blind eye” to the accusations and attending Wang’s show anyway.
In 2021, Wang was accused of sexually assaulting a then 20-year-old Parsons School of Design student in 2019 as well as 11 other men who came forward about misconduct, according to BBC.
Most of the alleged misconduct took place inside New York City clubs, which may not come as a surprise to some because Wang’s brand revolved around partying. Vogue even named him “fashion’s party president” in 2019.
The uproar of allegations happened in early 2021, but BBC reported that there were previous allegations against Wang that began in 2017 from two different people.
There was also an allegation made against him in December 2020, preceding the dozens of allegations, according to Women’s Wear Daily.
One member of The Chic Daily at ASU, Ian Taylor, shared his own take about the situation, agreeing with the negative comments.
“I think it’s disrespectful to the survivors and cowardly of the fashion community as a whole to allow him to directly participate in the show himself,” Taylor said. “He’s obviously not going anywhere considering how established he is in the industry, but the least that the fashion community could do is rightfully shun him and ban his personal participation in shows and events, but I doubt that’ll ever happen.”
It is currently unknown whether or not Wang will have another fashion show for the spring/summer 2023 season.